Master Stone Masons

Author: keithosdesign (Page 1 of 2)

Recent Work at Lawrence’s Constant Park

While browsing social media the other day we noticed a nice post by Tom Harper who captures some of our handywork at the very tail end of 2019.

New Years Eve I noticed Keith Middlemas aka “Dr. Rock” working on the stone wall on 6th Street east of Tennessee Street in front of Constant Park. I turned around because I knew it was a special moment. I appreciate people who contribute to our built environment who have skills to design & build with quality materials that will stand the test of time. I am also grateful to the City of Lawrence for hiring Keith for this job. Next time you are in the area take a moment to study this wall. It took MANY years for the limestone to be created. We are lucky to have Keith display the stones for all of us to enjoy.

A New Home For The Old Snow Hall Stone

A little-known story – I came into possession of a carved stone that was salvaged when Old Snow Hall was torn down.  Knowing its importance, I worked with the KU Endowment to make sure this little, albeit heavy, piece of history was properly looked after.  Below are excerpts from the flier that is given out once this stone found it’s new home in the DeBruce Center.


Old Snow Hall was one of KU’s first four campus buildings. It was a highlight of campus from the 1880s until the 1930s, and hosted KU’s early physical education classes.

Many activities were held in the large basement room of Snow. Dr. Naismith officed in the building and oversaw the very first games of basketball on campus in this very room…

The basement was inadequate as a basketball gym, with pillars in the middle of the room and a ceiling only 11 ft high. To improve the area for basketball, the floor was dug out 3 ft under the foundation. Perhaps consequentially, the building was condemned in the 1930s and tom down.

The stone on exhibit was saved from salvage by Keith Middlemas, KU alum, and stone mason, and offered to the DeBruce Center through KU Endowment in 2016.




A little spring cleaning

It has been quite a while since our digital cottage tucked off the beaten path of the information highway has been updated.  While it is a work in progress, it is now faster and will work on everything from desktop computers to new hand-held phones and tablets.

While it is a work in progress, it is now faster and will work on everything from desktop computers to new hand-held phones and tablets.

There are still pictures that need to be uploaded and documents, but in the meantime, please look around and enjoy.


Lawrence’s Carnegie Building Gets a New Sign

Carnegie BldgThe Carnegie building was constructed in 1904 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie. During the 1930’s an addition was build to accommodate the growing volume of books and materials. It served as the Lawrence public library until a new library was constructed in 1972.

The Lawrence Arts Center inhabited the building from 1975 through 2002. It was also in 1975 that the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Old City Library.

In January of 2011 the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department began operating the facility, once again making it available for public use. Destination Management and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area will have offices in the facility, as well as exhibit space to display historical information about Lawrence and the surrounding area.

The City asked us to create a new sign worthy of this historic building within the City’s budget.  We took great pains to find stone that was the same hue as the building so it would look as if it has been there since the original construction,  The resulting sign also has a column carved into the end like the entrance to the building.

A New Sign for a Historic Church

Trinity Lutheran ChurchLawrence’s Trinity Lutheran Church has us make them a new sign so their visibility facing South Park could be better.  We worked with the church council to develop a design that was to their taste and then helped them put together the necessary documentation for the City’s Historic Commission and the Planner’s Department to get the necessary approvals. The resulting sign has a historic look to match the church which has stood there since 1928.

We designed a multiple signboard mechanism with an extra panel so changes could be made in the church’s offices and then taken out side and easily swapped out.  The new sign is also lit with energy efficient LED’s that should last for over the next decade and draw a third of the power the old sign used to draw.

Overall a great confluence of traditional carving techniques and the latest technology.

Keith Middlemas in Lawrence Journal World Article

Marilyn Clark Outdoor kitchenThe Lawrence Journal World’s GO! section had a recent story by Maggie Carr that featured some of our work.  A while back we built and outdoor oven for Marilyn Clark.  She loves the outdoors including cooking al fresco.  There’s even a recipe for her famous caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza.

You can read the entire article HERE

Rotary Arboretum

Lawrence Rotary Arboretum

The fine local Rotarians asked us to create a new sign for their Arboretum that was originally created through funding from the Lawrence Rotary Club, the Jayhawk Breakfast Rotary Club and the Lawrence Central Rotary Club in celebration of the centennial anniversary of Rotary International in 2005.

Besides trees with identification markers, the arboretum also consists of walking paths, a pergola, a gazebo and a Waterwise Xeriscape Garden.

What was missing was a hearty sign to welcome people.  This piece is ‘mixed media’ in effect as the emblem is a wonderful bronze inset.

The picture here is of most of the 80 students volunteered their morning to help with landscaping projects in conjunction with Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department. The students were participants in the Northeast Kansas Rotary Leadership Camp.

Hats off to all!

« Older posts